The Space Wizards with the Nicotines – Live at Petit Campus – May 30th, 2019 – Montreal, QC

Psychedelic blues gurus The Space Wizards launched their debut full-length album at Petit Campus on May 30th. The Nicotines were slotted as openers, and together both bands pulled in an impressive draw that filled the venue with fun and light boogie energy. The Space Wizards have been working hard for a long while now roping in their stripped-back bluesy sound and psychedelic mojo, and preparing their new album Adding Color. It was a party fit for their efforts as they performed songs off the album, some old-but-golds, some of that fresh stuff, and a couple of Hendrix covers to seal the deal.

The Nicotines

The Nicotines were half the party that night. Always known for getting their fan base to come through and throw some vibes into the show, they did not disappoint. It was without any announcement, however, that the band took the stage with a new bassist. Driving in with the same pop-powered riffs and hooks, their sound was dialled in and crisp. Although the on-stage energy wasn’t as punchy as the old lineup, the songs did not suffer. “My Mind is the Desert” had the low-end rumble going while the atmospheric verse kinda crept up on the crowd. The long build was worth the wait; the mega chorus drop was pretty mega. Moments like this show that the Nicotines still have their juice. Surely with the work ethic that they seem to have they will dial in this new line up in no time.

The main boogie came from the Wizzes themselves. Armed with an arsenal of groovy tracks, fresh attire, and an attitude rushing the upbeat, they sure swung the room their way. A short poem read by Marley Nolls introduced the album, Adding Color, and got the mood set for the drop. The Space Wizards came on and put on quite the show. The classic trio featuring William Cote Munroe on guitar and lead vocals, and brothers Johnny and Evan Giancaspro on bass, vocals, and drums was joined by a few extra hands on conga and bongo duty.

The Space Wizards

The boogie was real. Playing songs off the album such as “Memories in the Wind” and “On the Loose,” they chucked the crowd back and forth from slow lulls to feet-movin’ dance grooves. The crowd was sweaty and did a great job keeping the dance floor warm. “Tonight,” a classic song already, is also another song that always helps the party flow that is just full of old-school grooves and feel-good vibes.

Jimi Hendrix always gets a lot of love from these dudes, and that night was no different. “Foxy Lady” was a perfect fit among the aforementioned tunes. At the end of a great set, “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” came in as the encore. At that point bodies were flying everywhere. One guy made a go at crowd surfing and found himself on stage, where he flexed his dance moves until the very end of the song. There were smiles all around, friends supporting friends, and music lovers getting a great show on a rainy Thursday night.

The Space Wizards have been hard at work with their band and music. Shows like this one reflect all the efforts they’ve put in to try and make special things happen. Congrats to them on their new album, and godspeed as they fly through a world of colour and groove.

Written by Ben Cornel
Photography by Amanda Hiscock
*edited by Kate Erickson


About Ben Cornel 61 Articles
Ben Cornel (no relation to Chris) is one of many long haired, and seemingly faceless people that could be found in the band MOOCH and The Osmosis Jones Band. The guitarist-singer is rooted in the vibes of the 60’s and 70’s that echo through the musical world to this day. His goal as a review writer, more than anything, is to get people off of their asses and out to shows (including his own). Ben is a graduate from the Liberal Arts program at John Abbott College in Montreal; where his music trip really kicked in. Some say he is still tripping heavy to this day. Considering this blurb was written by himself in the third person, I’d say so too.

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